Snoring Causes and Symptoms
The first step to resolving snoring problems is to understand the cause. Snoring and sleep apnea are caused by disrupted airflow through the upper airway. This can be due to narrowing or collapse at the level of the nose, mouth, back of the throat, or base of the tongue. Patients with snoring and sleep apnea problems often several of these issues at once. Effective treatment begins with a thorough assessment and accurate diagnosis by an ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) doctor who specializes in the management of snoring and sleep apnea.
Patients can often develop a good idea of their problem areas by paying attention to their symptoms. The following guide is designed to help align patient symptoms with possible causes.
Effective treatment options for snoring patients and for sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea are also listed here. Each anatomical problem is followed by treatments that are the most effective in providing relief and improving overall health.
Nasal obstruction at night will disturb restful sleep and can contribute to snoring and sleep apnea.
Deviated Septum - A deviation of the cartilage and bone which separates the left and right sides of the nose
- Nasal congestion
- Nasal obstruction (usually worse on one side)
Turbinate Hypertrophy - This is the most common contributor to nasal congestion and contributes to snoring in many people.
- Nasal congestion (often worse when lying down)
- Nasal Obstruction (often alternating between sides of the nose)
- Turbinate Reduction
- Prescription nasal sprays
- Allergy testing and desensitization
Palate Obstruction - Obstruction of the palate is the primary contributor to snoring in most people and often a primary cause of obstructive sleep apnea.
- Loud, "sawing" snoring (often worse when laying on back)
- A sensation of a flap blocking the throat at night, interrupting normal breathing and sleep
- Pillar Procedure
- Radiofrequency Palatal Treatment
Airway Obstruction by the Tongue - The tongue falling backwards into the airway at night can be a major contributor to sleep apnea in some patients. This is more common when a person has short jaws, causing an overbite.
- Choking sounds at night or sensation of choking on your tongue at night
- Oral appliances
- Genioglossus suspension
- Hyoid myotomy with stabilization
- Radiofrequency reduction of base of tongue
Enlarged Tonsils - Large tonsils are the primary cause of sleep apnea in small children
- Loud snoring with sleep pauses, worsening with throat infections
- Swallowing problems
Thickened fat pads in the lower throat narrow the airway and decrease muscular tone. Reduces the effectiveness of all of the above treatments.
- Diet and exercise programs can be an integral part of sleep apnea management
At Atlanta Snoring Institute, we specialize in identifying the causes of your snoring or sleep apnea and can offer the full range of treatments available. In many cases, our patients can be successfully treated in the office without the need for surgery or long term devices. We hope to have the privilege of working with you and your family.
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